Sunrise shells are a rarity that can only be found in Hawaii, earning a reputation for their beauty as well as their vast cultural history.
These shells were once worn by Hawaiian royalty, which offers a regal and sophisticated air to them alongside their rarity.
In this article, we are going to be taking a look at where you can find sunrise shells in the Hawaiian city of Oahu.
We’re also going to have a more in-depth look at sunrise shells in general. Let’s begin!
What Are Sunrise Shells?
As mentioned, sunrise shells- otherwise known by their common name of Langford’s Pecten- are a rare and unique shell from the scallop family that can only be found in Hawaii.
They are named for their distinctive, bright colors, which are reminiscent of the colors seen in the Hawaiian sunrise as well as in the surf when the morning breaks.
The bright colors of the shells give them a certain glow that can be seen underneath the shine of luminescent clouds in Hawaii.
In terms of size, sunrise shells can range from around the size of a dime up to the size of a silver dollar, with adult shells able to reach around 35mm.
In terms of their form, sunrise shells tend to be incredibly well-formed with a well-defined, strong exterior. They also have an eye-catching richness to their color.
The rarity of the sunrise shells means that their value and cost can often reach up to hundreds of dollars in terms of how much you might have to shell out for them (see what we did there?)
Many people make jewelry out of the shells and sell them worldwide, giving people all over the world a chance to own their own small piece of Hawaiian culture, even if they never have the chance to visit the islands to search for surprise shells themselves.
The History Of The Sunshine Shell
The sunrise shell has a rich and royal history in Hawaii, as we briefly talked about above.
These shells were not only worn by members of Hawaiian royalty, but they were also the exclusive property of the royal family.
The shells were thought to offer a certain level of power and protection to those who would wear them, which is why they were so popular with Hawaiian royals.
This is also why they were considered an item that should only be used by the upper echelons of Hawaiian society.
Where Can You Find Sunshine Shells?
Finding one of these elusive shells can be tricky, so let’s have a look at where you can find these beautiful shells.
The shells can be found in any of the Hawaiian islands, but they are more common in Northern areas, particular on the northern coast of Oahu.
Those on the lookout for sunrise shells will have more luck searching the North Shore beaches of Hawaii, especially in Oahu.
The shells can often wash up with big waves in the early morning, but they can also be found when the water is calmer by those willing to dive into the trenches on the northern coasts in Oahu.
Caring For A Sunrise Shell
Sunrise shells are naturally beautifully seashells, thanks to their dominant color schemes consisting of an assortment of bright yellows, warm oranges, and vivid pinks.
However, they aren’t always in the best condition when they are found.
They tend to be missing their sheen due to the calcium deposits that are usually on them thanks to their time in the ocean.
If you actually manage to get your hands on one of these rare and gorgeous sunrise shells, there are some steps you can take to clean it up.
Put aside about 20 minutes to completely scrub up your shell.
The best way to do this is to use an old or unused toothbrush, as the bristles are able to get into the ridges of the shell without causing any damage.
As well as a toothbrush, toothpaste is also a handy item when it comes to cleaning up a sunrise shell.
Take a small blob of toothpaste and scrub it into the shell with the toothbrush.
This will not only make your shell cleaner and shiny, but it will also allow you to shine up any metal that might be set into the shell.
Once you have cleaned the shell up with the toothpaste and toothbrush, find yourself a dry cloth and some mineral oil.
Polish the shell by applying some mineral oil to the cloth and then wiping it over the shell thoroughly. This will give it a gorgeous, eye-catching shine.
The incredible rarity of the sunshine shell is just one small part of what makes them so special.
Their beautiful, vibrant colors, versatile nature- which allows them to easily be made into jewelry or other knick-knacks-, as well as their range of sizes and styles makes for a unique shell that is sure to become a jewel in your home if you are lucky enough to obtain one!